Using Google Ads to sell your business
Hello from WeSellAnyCompany.com. This is the second post focussing on how you can sell your business using Google Ads.
I would advise (if you haven’t already) you to read the first in the series of posts before delving into this one. You can access it here.
Use different campaigns for different types of ads to sell your business.
After reading the first in this series of posts, the more SEO inclined among you might notice that I have completely bypassed YouTube, shopping and the Google Display network. I have instead concentrated on the search network, where a prospective business buyer types a key phrase into Google and your ad pops up in the search engine results page.
The reason I have done this is because each platform is different. The demographics are different and the reason people log on is different and the strategy therefore has to be different to accommodate this. You cannot run the same ad among the different platforms and expect a good result.
In future posts we will delve into YouTube and the Google Display Network but to keep it simple we will focus on selling your business on the Google search engine results page.
Split test your business for sale ad on Google
Split testing is where you simultaneously run more than one ad over a specified period of time and see which one performs best. Based on the results you will probably need to adjust your targeting, ad copy or ad creative. It is quite rare for a business to come up with the ‘perfect’ ad right away. In fact with the hundreds of businesses that I’ve helped I’ve never seen it happen yet. There is always something that can be improved upon. Market conditions will often dictate changes that need to be made to your ad in order to attract your ideal business buyer to your business.
Using search ads to list your business for sale
Let me start by saying I’m aware that not everyone is a Google geek like me, but I’m also aware that you would like to get biggest bang for your buck (or as we are in the UK the biggest sound for your pound). To help you do this I have broken key phrases into bite size chunks. If you are still a little unsure, shoot me a quick email at the bottom of the page and I’ll do what I can to help.
Think of your Google ads campaign like a big inviting box – a box we are going to unpack now:
Stamped on the outside of your campaign box is a bid price. That is how much you have agreed to pay every time someone clicks on your ad.
Inside your box you’ll find smaller boxes, each entitled: Ad Groups.
An Ad group is just a box containing ads and keywords
Let’s suppose you are a business broker with a portfolio of businesses to sell.
You can create a single ad group and call it ‘Businesses for sale.’ If you are reasonably confident that people who type this into Google are likely to convert into paying customers then you can set your maximum bid – that is how much you agree to give Google every time someone clicks on your Ad.
For arguments sake let’s say it’s £2.00 per click. Remember you pay this whether your potential business buyer purchases a business or not.
Things you want to avoid when selling your business on Google Ads
Probably a good idea at this point to look at what you don’t want to happen when using Google ads to sell your business. That way we can focus more clearly on a strategy that gets us the result we want.
- You don’t want your ads to be irrelevant and ineffective.
Someone types in a keyword that should result in a qualified lead coming through to your site but your ad copy does not capture your potential customer at all, or in the right way.
- You don’t want your ads to attract the wrong type of people or no one.
Targeting and copy must work hand in hand to attract as well as repel. The last thing you want is to be paying for people to come to your site who have little to no chance of ever converting.
- You don’t want to pay too little for your ads to show
You have the perfect ad, beautifully crafted but no one sees it because company x has outbid you.
- You don’t want to pay too much for your ad
Not every web visitor that lands on your site is going to buy a business. You therefore need to do your homework. How many leads come through to your site on average before a ‘serious’ buyer shows real interest in purchasing a business from your site? You can mark this down as a percentage weighed up against your cut (if you are a business broker) for a successful business sale. From that you should be able to work out exactly how much a web visitor is worth to you.
What business brokers want to see from a Google ads campaign
This goes for individual business owners too. You basically want to see the inverse of the points mentioned above, leading to a successful business sale.
This is where split testing (mentioned above), correct bidding and targeting comes into play.
Let’s break it down:
- Click on the campaigns tab in your Google Ads account:
- Click the blue + button:
- Click ‘New Campaign’
- There are quite a few options here and is the point at which many people become overwhelmed, and like a chronically depressed lemming search for the nearest cliff top. Don’t Fret, select to create a campaign without a goal guidance on the bottom left. This gives you the most flexibility when designing your ad. If you want a little extra help from Google you can also click on ‘leads’ but this may limit your options down the line:
- Select your campaign ‘type’
As we are concentrating on the search engine results you can ignore everything else here and just click on ‘search’:
- Now select the result you want, which in our case is more website visits:
When you click here you will be asked to input your website address:
- Choose a name for your campaign:
- Continue here to go to the general setting page where you can select your campaign objective and cost per acquisition (CPA):
As we are concentrating on conversions, this is the most logical choice. The CPA we will come back to so just leave this blank for now.
- Where do you want your ad to be seen?
Uncheck the display network. There is a whole different strategy needed to succeed on the display network, and it can be quite profitable. If you don’t know what you are doing however it can be the fastest way to attract spam clicks and waste an awful lot of money.
- Select your geographical location:
Notice how I have checked the last option. If your business for sale is based in Newcastle upon Tyne then there is a greater chance that your ideal prospect will either be based in or at least searching for Newcastle upon Tyne.
Remember what I said about attract and repel? This applies to Google too. If there are certain areas you don’t want the ad to be shown then you can select this here too:
After typing ‘Newcastle upon Tyne into the box I am presented with the options above. In this case I will select ‘target’ Next to the top entry.
I may have done some research on south Tyneside for example and determined that demographically my potential client is less likely to live there or be typing ‘South Tyneside’ into the Google search engine. You might say I want to REPEL these people as click through from these people will (in all eventuality) cost me more money without the same promise of a sale. In this case I click EXCLUDE next to South Tyneside.
I will end up with something like this:
- Select your language/s
- We’ll come back to your audience later. For now click next and we can go onto your keywords. Google will already have done some work and populated the keyword area with a few suggestions. You can feel free to add some of the ones you worked on in our last blog right here too.
Important to mention here that how you put the keywords into Google here will determine what it does with them.
So for example:
- Business for sale online – could show up if someone searches for ‘online company for sale and numerous other interpretations.’
- “Business for sale online” – would also show up if there were words either side of the phrase in the search box, such as: buy a business for sale online or business for sale online in Newcastle.
- [Business for sale online] – Would only show up if the user searches for this exact phrase.
This is why it is a good idea to check each of your keywords and phrases to make sure that users typing these in have commercial intent and are not simply on a research expedition that does not lead to a sale.
Google AI helping you to sell your business
By the end of June this year Google want to change the way they advertise, making it’s learning algorithm work hard and can change your ad mid campaign to give you the best possible chance of success. This they call the ‘Responsive search ad.’
Up till now you still had the option to write your own static ad but they are retiring this option and after June 30th this year Google will no longer offer support for this function.
Using Google responsive ad to sell your business.
Google will ask you for a minimum of 5 headlines and 2 descriptions though it is advisable to ad in at least 10 headlines and five descriptions. Google will then experiment with your headlines and descriptions to see which combinations (over time) give you the best result in terms of click through.
You also have the option to add negative keywords and phrases by selecting keywords from the menu on the left and clicking ‘negative keywords.’
Negative keywords and phrases are the ones you DON’T want to show up for. A car salesman for example wouldn’t want to show up for the Disney fans looking for information on the film ‘cars.’
That’s about it for now. Thank you for reading (or listening). The last part in this series on how to use Google ads to sell your business follows soon.
As always, if you are a business owner or a business broker and need help buying or selling your business then contact us here and we will do what we can to help